Look out Virginia, the Big Dog is coming:


Former President Bill Clinton will campaign for Virginia gubernatorial hopeful and longtime friend Terry McAuliffe next week, just days before the November 5 election.

McAuliffe's team announced Sunday that the 42nd president will kick off a three-day tour with the Democratic nominee in Virginia on October 27.

In the heated governor's race, McAuliffe has an advantage over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. According to an NBC4/NBC News/Marist poll released last week, 46% of Virginia's likely voters support the Democrat, while 38% back Cuccinelli.

Clinton has already headlined fundraisers for McAuliffe this cycle and also turned out for his friend in 2009 when McAuliffe last ran for the Democratic nomination for governor. - CNN, 10/20/13

McAuliffe recently got some support from another Clinton:


At her first explicitly political appearance since stepping down as secretary of state in February, Hillary Clinton offered a rousing endorsement of longtime family friend and Democratic Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe Saturday, telling an audience in Falls Church, Va., that McAuliffe will be a "24/7" governor who eschews partisan warfare in favor of problem-solving.

In a curious twist - presumably a nod to Clinton's star power - it was McAuliffe who introduced Clinton, not the other way around. Customarily, the endorser introduces the candidate.

Clinton took the stage to raucous applause and lavished praise on McAuliffe, who was the co-chair of her 2008 presidential bid and a former key fundraiser for her husband, former President Clinton, during his time in public office.

McAuliffe "has maybe the biggest heart and the most open mind of anyone you'll ever meet," the former first lady and senator said. "Terry has always been there for me, and I'm pleased to be here for him."

In remarks that were aimed squarely at the dysfunction in Washington, D.C., only miles from where she spoke, Clinton said she hopes "the whole country is watching this election - watching to see whether the voters of Virginia lead the way of turning from divisive politics, getting back to common sense and common ground." - CBS News, 10/19/13

Meanwhile, Ken Cuccinelli (R. VA) is also getting some help from another former Presidential candidate:


Hundreds of people flocked to the Liberty Mountain Conference Center on Saturday night to hear from gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli and former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Saturday night marked the second time in a week that Virginia’s attorney general has met with supporters in the Lynchburg area.

“It’s important for me to talk to as many people in person,” Cuccinelli said.

Cuccinelli and multiple media outlets have reported that democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe has outspent him in the race to be governor. The attorney general said having Huckabee stump for him is a tremendous help.

“He gets them fired up,” Cuccinelli said. “People like him a lot. So do I.” - The Roanoke Times, 10/20/13

Cuccinelli is really doing everything he can to fire up his base.  Lately he's been really going after Obamacare:


"Obamacare represents one of the largest and most reckless expansions of government in the more than 200-year history of our nations," Cuccinelli said. "I believe that Obamacare is unconstitutional."

In 2010, Cuccinelli, Virginia's attorney general, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care law. The Supreme Court upheld the law in a ruling last year.

In recent days however, Cuccinelli seemed to back away slightly in his criticism of Obamacare, calling it "the law of the land" and asking that congressional Republicans give up their effort to defund the law in order to end the partial government shutdown.

"It doesn’t mean that it’s all done and we are set and over with it," Cuccinelli said at an event in Fairfax, Virginia, earlier this month, "They don’t even know how they are going to implement it. We are learning a lot as we go here.” - CNN, 10/19/13

But I doubt either Huckabee or bashing Obamacare will help save his campaign:


First, Cuccinelli's own style and emphasis doesn't reassure anyone who isn't already a committed movement conservative. It's fine, even refreshing, to see a politician that always speaks his mind but, when that mind is obsessed with culture war issues, it's not helpful to most voters.

Republicans who want to win need to take a gentler, funnier, less serious style more in the mode of Mike Huckebee, Chris Christie and current Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell. Cuccinelli hasn't learned this.

Second, Republican candidates, particularly at the state and local level, must do more to describe how they will actually govern. No matter who was actually responsible for the shutdown (I'd personally blame both Democrats and Republicans), the public certainly blames Republicans and Fed-heavy Virginia felt its consequences most severely. This puts more pressure on Republicans to put forward a positive agenda. Since McDonnell has governed well by investing in transportation and schools while maintaining the states' AAA bond rating and avoiding large tax increases, Cuccinelli's had a record to run on. But, inexplicably, he hasn't done that. While the candidate's web page has some good wonky ideas about offering $10,000 bachelor's degrees, many of his plans for governing remain undeveloped. His energy and environment agenda, for example, is almost all blather about the need to "drill baby, drill" while ignoring that Virginia isn't a major energy producer and won't be in the future. What's advertised as a "detailed policy plan for jobs" consists of a one page plan to cut taxes. While I personally think this is a good idea -- provided that one can find enough spending cuts to maintain the state's AAA bond rating -- it's hardly much of a vision for governing.

These problems, furthermore, are symptomatic of problems the GOP faces almost everywhere else in the country. Unless the party changes its style and develops a different agenda for governing, Republicans are going to lose a lot more elections like the one in Virginia. - Huffington Post, 10/20/13

Not to mention Cuccinelli's radical, anti-choice agenda isn't helping him either:


Cuccinelli opposes abortion except when the mother’s life is in danger — a position McAuliffe called “very extreme” because it would not allow abortion in cases of rape, incest or to protect the mother’s health.

The Republican claims McAuliffe favors taxpayer-funded abortion even in the third trimester. That makes McAuliffe “the only candidate with an extreme position on life,” according to Cuccinelli spokeswoman Anna Nix.

McAuliffe calls his opponent’s claim about his position false and said he would leave abortion laws intact. Virginia law currently prohibits third-trimester abortions, and public funding is available for abortion only in cases of rape, incest, fetal impairment or life endangerment.

The Democrat does favor repealing a 2012 law requiring ultrasounds for women seeking abortion and finding a way to circumvent new state Board of Health regulations requiring all Virginia abortion clinics to meet the same strict building standards as newly constructed hospitals. The board initially exempted established clinics from the building standards but reversed itself after Cuccinelli told members they exceeded their authority and threatened not to represent them in court if anyone sued. - Roanoke Times, 10/20/13

And unlike Cuccinelli, McAuliffe is a candidate to be taken seriously:


In the realm of national politics, it took Terry McAuliffe a matter of months to establish himself as a serious player.

He was raising money, mingling with millionaires, and even flying on Air Force One within a year of graduating from Catholic University and signing on with President Jimmy Carter’s 1980 reelection campaign, as a 23-year-old operative who still looked like a teenager.

But being regarded as a serious player is different than being regarded as a serious person. That part has taken decades.

Now, at age 56, it seems to be happening for McAuliffe at last.

The former Democratic National Committee chairman and friend of Bill Clinton has opened a significant lead in polls and fundraising against Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the race for governor of Virginia — a state McAuliffe lived in but had never been closely identified with before a clumsy losing bid for his party’s gubernatorial nomination four years ago.

If the expected victory comes, it will be in part because voters in an increasingly moderate state recoiled at Cuccinelli’s sharp-edged brand of social conservatism. But it will also be because McAuliffe has passed a kind of unofficial sobriety test, hard to define but impossible to deny, that voters in a tradition-minded state like Virginia insist upon administering before awarding the governor’s mansion. - Politico, 10/19/13

The election is Tuesday, November 5th.  If you would like to help out with the McAuliffe campaign in making sure our base gets out and vote, you can click here:

Originally posted to pdc on Sun Oct 20, 2013 at 06:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by Virginia Kos and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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